The DM Support Group met again, on Februrary 4, Wednesday evening, in Dr Clemmons Neuro Chat Room. Dr Clemmons was there with us again, and spent about 2 1/2 hours answering our questions. Again, his dedication and his commitment to help us with our dogs was clearly exhibited, and his marvelous sense of humor remained intact, even after over 2 hours of questions...
We noted, with sadness, the passing of one of the dogs in our group, a 15 year old German Shepherd Dog, King. King had DM for the past 2 years, and was a recipient of an extended life, due to Dr Clemmons program. At one time, King had difficulty walking, but due to a rigorous program of swimming, an exercise recommended by Dr Clemmons, King was able to get around till the end. King did not die as a result of DM. He died from unrelated causes.
We discussed the fact that most of the dogs in the support group tolerate the N-Acetylcysteine, Aminocaproic Acid, and Anti-Ox formulas quite well, with no problems. However, there are 2 dogs which have experienced stomach upset, and we discussed that with Dr Clemmons. He would like ALL the dogs, not most, to be able to reap the benefits of his program. He told us that Westlab had another formulation for the N-Acetylcysteine, with less NAOC, with a reduced sodium load, which might make it easier on the stomach of the dogs that were reacting sensitively. He also suggested that dogs who were experiencing stomach upset, be given 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, 30 minutes before the administration of the drugs. In addition, for dogs who are getting "gassy" from the fresh garlic, 1 teasp of Fennel Seeds, would alleviate the problem. DGL, and acidophilus, also help coat and soothe the stomach. Dr Clemmons suggested Blackberry root, if any of the dogs reacted to the meds, with diarrhea.
Two of the people in the support group mentioned their dogs did not like the flavor of the Anti-Ox. (Jack Flash would happily slurp up their portion, as to him, it is a treat- He loves it) Dr Clemmons informed us that the Anti-Ox could be made, in addition to the present formula, with a honey or mollasses base as a substitute.
Dr Clemmons is now taking further steps to help the 2 dogs who are not tolerating the N-Acetylcysteine. He is working on a "pill" form of the drug, which would be much easier on the stomach. Believe it or not, Dr. Clemmons took the pills himself today, to make sure there were no side effects!!!!! Talk about a love and concern for animals! One could not possibly be more caring than this!!!!!! He has always had as his motto "First, do no harm". It is evident that Dr Clemmons most certainly practices what he preaches!!!! :-D
Dr Clemmons discussed with us the importance of DM prevention in healthy animals. He suggested we all review that Alternative Therapy Page of his website, for that page is for ALL dogs, not just dogs that are ill. It is a " What All Dogs Need" page for a healthy life.
For aging dogs, with heart problems, Dr Clemmons sugested the use of Hawthorn Berry.
The members of the Support Group discussed different ways to let other dog owners know about Dr Clemmons program for DM. Too many of us have been told by our vets, or by our neurologists, that there is nothing to be done about DM. We know this to be completely false, as our dogs are doing well on the program. We would like to inform others that there is, indeed, a program for dealing with DM. DM is treated most effectively at its earlier stages, so getting this info out to the general population as quickly as possible is a goal we will strive to attain. We discussed contacting the media and TV programs dealing with pets, and pet magazines. It is very important to make Veterinarians and dog owners aware of the symptoms of this disease, so it can be caught, as stated, in the earlier stages, and treated, in order to slow the progression of this disease.
I have been in contact with Dr Stuart Turner, director of the Pet Care Forum. He is looking into ways to hook AOL members to the DM Newsgroup, and the Neuro Chat room. I have received communication from Dr Turner, and he does seem anxious to make this happen. He mentioned several possible ways to accomplish this, and I have passed that information along to Dr Clemmons, who has also expressed an interest in being able to communicate with those support group members who have difficulty accessing the Neuro Chat room. Hopefully, Dr Turner and Dr Clemmons will be able to find a way to make this happen.
Lastly, the support group discussed the need for raising money for research for DR Clemmons. DM is all to prevalent in German Shepherd Dogs, and occurrs with relative frequency. (However, it is not a disease that is limited to German Shepherds. Many breeds are experiencing the same problems with DM, as are the German Shepherds, and there ARE other breeds of dogs in our support group.)
We noted that there are over 1 million German Shepherd Dogs. If every owner of a German Shepherd Dog sent in $1 to the U of Fla, and designated that money go towards Dr Clemmons research, that would make a total of $1,000,000 that would go towards researching Degenerative Myelopathy......Such a small amount of money from each person, yet, a signicant amount of money for research.. Perhaps all of you could suggest this to a broader forum of people, for it is not alot to ask, and the end result would help make a better life for our dogs, and possibly help find a way to eradicate or prevent this disease.
For those who ask permission to reprint any part of this letter, and reprint on the GSD lists, you may feel free to do so, ESPECIALLY THE $1 FROM EVERYONE PART!!!!!!
Well, that's it for this edition! Love and kisses to all our dogs, and a wish for health for all...